tv The Ed Show MSNBC August 3, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
empriginate a 13-year-old which she says happens more time than you know, haul her across the state line and force her to have an abortion, bring her back and drop her off at the playground where he found her. what kind of cony is this that you find her? it's not here. the only thing weird and unreal is the u.s. congressman telling them. that's "hardball" for now. have a nice weekend. "the ed show" starts right now. good evening. americans. welcome to "the ed show." i'm michael eric dyson in for ed schultz. 95 days before the 2012 election, harry reid is torching mitt romney over his hidden tax returns while president obama runs up the score like carmelo anthony. this is "the ed show," and as ed would say, let's get to work. >> the word's out that he hasn't paid any taxes for ten years. let him prove that he has paid taxes because he hasn't. >> harry reid is still punching on mitt romney's taxes, and mitt
romney keeps on responding. >> harry reid really has to put up or shut up. harry, who are your sources? >> tonight, congressman george miller on romney's ongoing tax problem and the new questions about romney's massive ira account. >> this morning, we learned that our businesses created 172,000 new jobs in the month of july. >> good news on jobs, leaves republicans scrambling. steve breaks down today's big report. retired porn superstar jenna jameson explains her endorsement of mitt romney. when you're rich, you want a republican in office. the big panel tackles that tonight. and nas has the hottest new album in the country. tonight, one of hip-hop's premier poets joins me for an exclusive interview. where do you stand on president barack obama? >> a former boxer has knocked mitt romney for a loop. harry reid continues pummeling
the candidate over his tax returns. he said a source tells him mitt romney hasn't paid any taxes in ten years. >> the word is out that he hasn't paid any taxes for ten years. let him prove that he has paid taxes because he hasn't. >> just to make sure you heard what he said, reid gave this statement to the huffington post last night. it's clear romney is hiding something. and the american people deserve to know what it is. in case you didn't really get where he was coming from, reid released this statement today. it's hard to say which is more insulting to americans' intelligence, mitt romney's tax plan or his refusal to show the american people what's in his tax returns. mitt romney was sfoeforced to g off the ropes and defend himself. >> harry reid has to put up or shut up. harry, who are your sources? let's have harry explain who that is. >> to be sure reid hasn't named his source, but there are now additional news reports about
the source's credibility. >> i spoke to one source who is close to senator reid who claims to also know who the bain investor is, and insists this is a credible person and this person if we knew the name, we would understand that they would have the authority and the ability to know about romney's tax returns. >> so here's the bottom line, either harry reid's soiurce is lying or based on the statement, mitt romney is. >> i have paid taxes every year. and a lot of taxes. a lot of taxes. so harry is simply wrong. and that's why i'm so anxious for him to give us the names of the people who have put this forward. i wouldn't be at all surprised to hear the names are people from the white house or the obama campaign or who knows where they're coming from. >> come on now. why don't you give us your tax returns and we'll put that oto bed. "the ed show" reached out to him for a response to the fact he always paid taxes. if that's true, why doesn't romney just release his tax
returns? what's he hiding? this is bare knuckle politics. the pugilistic senator knows how to hit hard and has the republican candidate for presidential reeling. some might call his tactics unfair, but one might hope they call the many outlanding attacks on obama unfair. the republican party and its media representatives spent the better part of 2008 obsessing over obama's place of birth. they created exaggerated ties between the president and figures like tony resco and bill ayers. they have created an american bashing caricature of obama. >> he apologized for america. it's time for us to be strong as a nation. >> stop the dog whistles, we get the putrid stereotypes. it was mitt romney who spent the last several weeks distorting a comment made by president obama and turning it into the central argument of his campaign. republicans are no strangers to
hard hitting politics. mitt romney enjoyed lecturing his republican opponents in the primaries about developing a thicker skin. >> if you can't stand the heat in this little kitchen, wait until you get into obama's hell kitchen. >> this ain't the bean bag. we're going to come into the campaign, describe the differences between us. >> you have to brush up on your vernacular. with all of that tough talk, it's surprising mitt romney's top adviser is having such a hard time with harry reid's comments. >> his charges are baseless and they're untrue. and i would ask him one simple question, have you decency, sir? is there nothing that you won't do to debase yourself and the office you hold in the name of dirty politics? >> oh, my goodness. i'm rubber, you're glu. everything you say baunss off me and sticks to you. it's only dirty politics when someone does it to the romney campaign. bullies don't like it when they get punched back. i'm remunded from a scene from a
classic movie many people have enjoyed over the years. >> hey. >> something had happened. a fuse blew. and i had gone out of my skull. >> hey. hey kid. >> it will shoot you eye out. but senator reid isn't just hitting back with his fists. he's hitting back with information the romney campaign obviously doesn't want to address. this past week, abc news asked mitt romney a direct yes or no question that he did his best to avoid. >> we know that there was one year where you paid about a 13.9% tax rate. can we clear this up by asking you a simple yes or no question? was there ever any year when you paid lower than the 13.9%? >> i haven't calculated that.
i'm happy to go back and look. >> i ain't got no calculator big enough to do that. he was happy enough to go back and take a look, but when abc contacting the romney campaign, they got the same old story. >> a spokes person would only reiterate, he's paid his taxes in full compliance with u.s. law and he's paid 100% of what he has owed. >> the tax issue is going to dog mitt romney throughout the campaign, both by serious journalists and by hard nosed paul tioliticians who knew howet a fight from bell to bell. >> get your cell phone out. which man needs to put up or shut up? mitt romney or harry reid? a for romney, b for harry reid or go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. i'll bring you the results later in the show. >> i'm joined by george miller of california who has his own questions about mitt romney's
finances. welcome to the show, congressman. >> thank you. thank you, michael. >> sir, are we going to, you know, get your latest inquiry regarding mitt romney's individual retirement account? we're going to do that in a moment, but do you think senator reid has done anything wrong here? >> no, senator reid hasn't done anything wrong. mitt romney has been dancing around the ring the whole time and finally harry reid cold cocked him with a simple question, make your tax returns public. if you what you say is true, then there can't be any problem in releasing these tax returns over the last many years, but he's refused to do it. >> there's no doubt that pugilistic metaphor does it, the rabbit punches, the clenches. let's throw it to the referee and say you decide if we're punching beneath the belt or not. is it troubling to you that romney won't just release the tax returns to disprove senator reid's claims? >> romney has the answers to the
questions that have been asked of him now for many, many, many months. they started asking him this question in the republican primaries. he refused to answer it then. he's refused to answer it now. the fact of the matter is he has the information. he can let the truth come out. and it appears that the truth may be more costly to him than continuing this battle of denial, denial, denial, that politically is a killer for him. >> yeah, it's like he keeps saying that old reggae song, it wasn't me. financial disclosures shows his ira holds more than $100 million. you and two of your colleagues in the house have sent an inquiry to the treasury and labor departments wondering if the contribution process for the ira is legal. this is what you wrote. we hope that you will evaluate this issue carefully to insure that a select few are not being provided with a loophole that allows for wrongful tax evasion. what concerns do you have about
romney's ira? >> i know first-hand experience, and talking to my constituents, how hard middle income families work to try to scrimp and save and set aside some money at the end of the month for their retirement. we know that families aren't doing very well because they don't have enough disposal income to make those contributions to their 401(k)s, to their iras. and most middle income families have tens of thousands of dollars in it. when i read that he had amassed somewhere between $20 million and $100 million inside of an ira, i want to know how. what appears is he gets to manipulate, he gets to manipulate the tax code. he gets to pick the value of the stock and the contribution he makes to his ira. knowing he has the inside information about what the prospects and the future of the company will be that he put the stock in. if a middle income family wants to put the stock into their ira,
they'll have to wait until it's on the stock market, it's a public number. everybody buy s it at the same price. this is an outright manipulation of the tax code and the loopholes that are there. but the manipulation, and if he can put $100 million in tax free, you have to start asking, what does this mean to middle income families. the tax loopholes that the wealthy are using, people like mitt romney are using to exploit the tax code are killing the middle class because that means their taxes have to be higher or the deficit has to go higher. and neither one of these are good news for the american public or for the american taxpayer. >> yeah, i know some brothers who think the ira might stand for individual reparations accounts when you get that kind of dough. congressman george miller, thank you so much. >> thank you. remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen, and share your thoughts on twitter at ed show and on facebook. we want to know what you think. coming up, today's job
numbers are out and they were much better than expected. president obama and mitt romney disagree on how to qualify the jobs numbers, so we have steve joining us next. building pass, corporate card, verizon 4g lte phone. the global ready one ? yeah, but you won't need... ♪ hajimemashite. hajimemashite. hajimemashite. you guys like football ? thank you so much. i'm stoked. you stoked ? totally. ... and he says, "under the mattress." souse le matelas. ( laughter ) why's the new guy sending me emails from paris ? paris, france ? verizon's 4g lte devices are global-ready. plus, global data for just $25. only from verizon.
coming up, july's jobs report were above expectations. and republicans are working overtime to spin them in their favor. mitt romney's plan to end tax credits for wind energy puts him at odds with his own party. van jones joining me to talk about the potential impact on jobs wroorb. later, nas will join me to discuss everything from the state of politics to the state of hip-hop. share your thoughts with us using the hash tag "ed show." we'll be right back. that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8.
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good for the american people and also happens to be good for president obama. the economy picks up steam in the mukt of july with jobs numbers nearly double what had been predicted. 163,000 jobs were added in july, according to today's report. that includes government job loss of 9,000. therefore, private sector job growth was higher, 172,000 jobs added. the unemployment rate ticked up but it was literally a tax, from 8.217% to 8.54%. >> we learned our businesses created 172,000 new jobs in the month of july.
that means that we have now created 4.5 million new jobs over the last 29 months. and 1.1 million new jobs so far this year. but let's acknowledge, we have still got too many folks out there who are looking for work. we've got more work to do on their behalf. >> here's a shocker. governor mitt romney took a different view. >> of course, today, we got a new number from the unemployment report. it's another hammer blow for the struggling middle class families of america because the president has not had policies that put american families back to work. i do. i'll put them in place and get america working again. >> the fact remains governor romney, under president obama, we have now seen 29 straight months of private sector job growth. let's bring in steve benham, msnbc political contributor and producer for the rachel maddow show. thank you so much for joining
us. >> thank you. >> the numbers from july aren't astounding, and president obama acknowledged that, but steve, they're better than expected and double the numbers from the previous three months. why don't you help us flesh that out a bit. >> well, sure. it's clear that this is a step in the right direction. that the numbers for april, may, and june were deeply disappointing and suggested maybe we were headed to a danger place in terms of the state of the economy. with this morning's report kind of was a breath of fresh air and brought relief to people. a much better than expected report and numbers were double what we had seen in late spring and early summer. where we're not where we need to be, and everyone accepts the importance of that, it's important to realize this is encouraging. this is a step in the right direction and that kind of puts us on a better path going forward. >> sure, and to help clarify that, you put up another job comparing job creation over the bush years and obama years. explain some of the highlights from such a comparison.
>> i think it's interesting that people look back at the bush years as being not so bad, especially the first seven years of the bush presidency when it comes to job creation. just this year, this calendar year, january through july of 2012, we have added about 1.1 million jobs. that's not a great year and the year is want over, but just that year is better than the first three years of the bush presidency combined and better than five of eight year s bush was in office. they got pretty much every economic policy they wanted out of congress. they got two massive tax breaks, the regulatory policies they wanted, yet the economy never took off. we never saw the boon that republicans predicted. now we're seeing the obama presidency working through the tough times, gettis us back on track, here we are with 1.1 million jobs in 2012 so far. when you compare this year versus the bush presidency, it looks pretty good. >> what is it about the american
populous that tends to not understand the comparison you just drew so brilliantly? because the fact is that obama has done a far better job than bush did. and yet he doesn't get credit for that. is it this janet jackson, what have you done for me lately attitude? that prevents that? >> it's the shock of the recession. this was not a normal recession at all. we have these cyclical recessions, but i think this was obviously the crisis and the crash, t catastrophic conditions that happened in late september 2008 and then of course kind of early through 2009, before the recovery began, i think this was such a shock to the american people that it kind of devastated a lot of us. just economically, psychologically, i don't think we're nearly through with that. i don't think we have really recovered in any sense from that crisis. and so i think that people may have had unreasonable expectations. maybe people thought the
president would take office and things would get better, instantly, immediately, this robust recovery, and that didn't happen. that was unrealistic. that was unlikely. recoveries from that kind of crash don't happen ever. the combination of just the severity of the recession, the expectations were probably a little unrealistic, leave this lingering sense that obama hasn't succeeded when he's really helped get the economy back on track. >> steve, thank you for your insight. >> thank you. wind creates energy and creates jobs. mitt romney wants to end tax credits for it, and he has a whole lot of republicans lined up against it. van jones joins me next. and jenna jameson says if you're rich, mitt is your man. our panel will weigh in. stay tuned. [ female announcer ] think a thick cream is the only way to firm skin?
mitt romney has managed to get a whole bunch of republicans annoyed with him because mitt romney wants to end the wind energy tax credit. but many republicans do not. governor romney made his position clear through a spokesman. he will allow the wind credit to expire and the stimulus boondoggles and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits. bear in mind when mitt romney says level playing field, he means a completely non-level playing field in which the wildly profitable oil companies continue to get government subsidies.
government welfare. charles grassley of iowa doesn't want to end wind production tax credits. i don't think that's the real position of the party, because they said they were going to consult me on this stuff, and they haven't gotten my view. other republicans disagreeing with mitt romney include iowa congressman tom lathem, governor terry bran stad, senator scott brown of massachusetts and arkansas senator john boozman. the american wind energy association said the number of jobs in the industry stands at 75,000 and drives up to $20 billion in private investment. here's an obama campaign video on wind energy. >> the policies that president obama has put forward has been a great benefit to a small business like mine. air and wind recent ly receiveda loan that was supported by president obama. the loan we got is directly going to help us produce two to three turbines. the loan we got has helped us sustain eight to ten people plus
probably half a dozen subsuppliers. >> let's turn to a man who can counter some of the hot air coming out of the romney side. van jones, president and cofounder of rebuild the dream and the author of the book by the same name "rebuild the dream." van, welcome to the show. is mitt romney on the very wrong side of this? >> you know, it's almost an extension of his magical mystery tour overseas. every country he went to, he made mistakes and made people angry, and he comes to the united states and makes everybody in iowa angry. that's what he wants to do this month, make as many people as mad as possible. this is a serious matter, 75,000 jobs, is that a lot of jobs? well, there's about 75,000 coal miners in the entire country and 75,000 folks working in the wind industry. critical industry in america growing, growing against gravity in this awful economy. he's willing to have 10,000 to
20,000 people thrown out of work, but he won't take on the oil companies, won't take on the coal. if he wants a level playing field, we're all for that. winld would be competitive. the reason wind is not compesative, many reasons, is because we do so many subsidies on the other side. we're talking about somebody who is willing to deal a devastating body blow to a key energy sector for americans and throw americans out of work for no reason, and even republicans won't go with him. >> how much push back will he get from his own party? we gave you a sense, but give us a deeper sense. >> good luck in iowa. that's what the republicans are saying right now. good luck in iowa. you got family farms that are tanking right now. and some of them, the only thing keeping them going is not only are they growing home-grown today but also home-grown fuel. a wind turbine can produce $10,000 to $30,000 perwind turbine. when you throw them out of circulation, you're dumper
farmers overboard. but here is mitt romney. he's so interested in currying favor with the most extreme element in his party, he will do things to hurt the american economy and hurt other republicans. this is a very troubling sign. >> this is a win-win situation on the energy and jobs front, right? because when you talk about creating new sources of not only energy but of employment, it seems they go hand in hand. >> we just saw these jobs numbers, and you know, thankfully, we're moving forward. 4.5 million private sector jobs, obama has done better in four years, on private sector job growth, than george bush did with eight with a much better economy, but we have a long way to go. one of the areas we can get more job growth is to diversify our energy sector, compete with china and the rest of the world and build jobs here. we have a saudi arabia of wind energy in america in the plain states, off the coast, up near the great lakes area. we need to tap that, and every energy sector in our country, and in the world, it's a public
private partnership. the government always plays some role in the energy sector. the question is, are you supporting the problem solvers in the energy sector, clean energy, or supporting the problem makers. he's not against subsidies, he wants to subsidize the problem makers and abandon the problem solvers. >> let's change subjects a bit here. the job numbers came out today, much better than expected, stronger than expected. do you think that indicates a better fall? you have some ideas that might help the president out. >> one thing the president can do is part of the reason we have this drag on the economy is because the housing market is still terrible. you have one third of americans who are underwater in their mortgage. it used to be, you buy a house, you build wealth. one third of americans, every time they write a mortgage check, they're losing wealth. fannie and freddie want to fix this. obama has one person in his administration, his name is ed demarco, who will not let fannie
and freddie reduce the principle, will not let them charge americans fairly for their homes. reports have now come up that say, listen, if obama were to fire this man and give us the opportunity to cut the principle, we could get a million jobs, a million jobs right now, one guy holding it up. obama should fire ed demarco. >> you heard it from van jones right there. >> there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour of "the ed show." stay tuned. what about you becoming a millionaire? all right? >> it's great. >> retired porn superstar jenny jamison is taking a stand on behalf of wealthy americans in her endorsement on mitt romney. the big panel weighs in next. and nas is dominated the charts with his new album. one of hip-hop's premier poets joins me for an exclusive interview. >> he has a big job. i salute him for taking the job. now he's got to handle it. do you see it ? there it is ! there it is !
[ "human" by the human league playing ] humans. we mean well, but we're imperfect creatures living in a beautifully imperfect world. it's amazing we've made it this far. maybe it's because when one of us messes up, someone else comes along to help out. that's the thing about humans. when things are at their worst, we're at our best. see how at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy?
so i want to make sure you enforce our ubsinty laws. i want to make sure that every new computer sold in this country after i'm president has installed on it a filter to block all pornography and that parents can click that filter and make sure their kids don't see that kind of stuff coming into their computer. >> and mabe wives, too. welcome back. it seems as if jenna jameson has never seen that video of mitt romney in his failed 2008 run for the white house. last night at a san francisco strip club, we weren't there, the porn star endorsed governor romney for president, saying, quote, i'm very looking forward to a republican being back in office. when you're rich, you want a republican in office. she made her living doing what most republicans would call obscene and have tried to legislate against even if they couldn't resist participation, which brings us to tonight's
dyson-ary. obscene, offensive to morality or decenty, indecent, depraved. you know what is indecent? what republicans do for less fortunate americans. they don't seem to care about the poverty rate, they don't seem to care about low wages for working americans. i won't get into congressman paul ryan's immoral budget. let's turn to the dyson-ary for republican definition of obscene. obscene, what republican policies do to the middle class and the least fortunate among us. i'm joined by democratic strategist john riley, patricia murphy, and radio host michael medved. michael, let's start with you. is ms. jam jaimson correct, if you are rich, you want a republic in office. >> if you're poor, the choice is republican, if you're rich, the choice is republican.
here is a basic fact, professor dyson, the basic fact is this, there is no way that you can have a growing economy and have the middle class improving and have poor people getting ahead without rich people also getting richer. we all another move forward or we move backward together, and by the way, you know who is proof of that? bill clinton. rich people did spectacularly well under clinton. they did better under clinton than george w. bush. >> obama wants those tax rates now. he wants the same tax rates that prevailed in the clinton administration -- >> he doesn't. he wants higher rates on capital gains. he wants to tax investments far more than bill clinton. >> also, your argument about trick 8 down has been disproved so thoroughly that not even people on the right will take it into consideration. >> bill clinton shows by lowering capetle gainserat s ra
that's when the boom kicked in. and president obama wants to raise it all above that. >> i don't want to have a one-on-one conversation, but bill had a economy. patricia, do endorsements like this help or hurt mr. romney? >> i don't think this endorsement is going to have a big effect on mitt romney. he's certainly not going to go out there -- he really is compulsively g-rated. obviously, we know he's not going to talk about this, not going to do bng about it. i think it does just add fuel to the democrats' fire, and i think jenna jameson is speaking the truth. she's a retired porn star so she's not as into porn. she's really an entrepreneur. she's worth about $30 million. most people who are worth about $30 million are going to vote for republicans. republican policies are much more favorable to wealthy people. they want to get rid of the estate tax. that would be a big boon to
wealthy investors. if you're wealthy in america, you're probably going to vote for a republican. jenny jamison is just one of them. >> let's talk about what happens to the rest of america, though, outside of that 1% where the concentration of wealth at the top doesn't begin to trickle down, doesn't stimulate the economy and hasn't been good over the last several years of such failed policies. here is a campaign ad romney was running in his 2008 run for the presidency. >> i would like to see us clean up the water in which our kids are swimming. i would like to keep pornography from coming up on their computers. i'd like to keep the drugs off the streets, i would like to see less violence and sex on tv. >> this depite utah and atlanta, the bible belts and evangelical right having such strongholds on them and also the highest instance of strip clubs and pornography. romney has been silent, but a campaign aide reportedly promised a crackdown on porn if
romney is elected. john, what due i make of this? >> it's amazing and entertaining. i can't wait to hear mitt romney at a press conference say the word porn and talk about this. he can't get utterances about easy policy statements and pretty easy things a standard candidate for office can do. as he continues to harry caray himself, there's a karma that has been generated. when you run a great campaign, great things happen to you. when you're running a horrible campaign, i would argue he's one of the worst candidates in about 50 years to be a nominee in terms of campaigning skills, that it's really just amazing. so he's generating this negative energy that's falling from the sky, so i can't wait to hear him talk about it. >> if you want to talk about the cheapest of cheap shots, i'm sorry. this was not an appearance with mitt romney and jenna jameson. he hasn't accepted or welcomed her endorsement at all. and her endorsement isn't even an endorsement.
she was at a strip club to se celebrate its anniversary. the eighth anniversary of the operation of the strip club. they were talking politics and someone reported on it. it's not as if somehow mitt romney has a huge surge of support in the porn industry, which is by the way overwhelmingly democratic. as far as rich people are concerned, some of the richest people in the country are in hollywood. and people like steven spielberg and harvey wine steen and the rest of them all endorse obama and go to his $30,000 a plate dinners. >> let's speak to this, the point is she was making a point about what people who are rich tend to do. the argument here is not about whether or not she consciously endorsed mr. romney and he's going to accept that endorsement. the point is that people who are rich are attracted to republicans who are good for their bottom line. but not good for the bottom line for the rest of america. we're going to have to stop right here. john, patricia, and michael -- >> what you said wasn't true. >> a multiplatinum artist who isn't afraid to talk politics.
musician nas joins me next to talk about all that and more and his new album as well. [ donovan ] i hit a wall. and i thought "i can't do this, it's just too hard." then there was a moment. when i decided to find a way to keep going. go for olympic gold and go to college too. [ male announcer ] every day we help students earn their bachelor's or master's degree for tomorrow's careers. this is your moment. let nothing stand in your way. devry university, proud to support the education
of our u.s. olympic team. welcome back to "the ed show." tonight in our survey, i asked you which man needs to put up or shut up, mitt romney or harry reid. 91% say romney, 9% say reid. >> up next, legendary hip-hop artist nas shares his thoughts on the obama presidency, occupy wall street, and much more. we'll be right back.
i believe is a system that has been here to keep america the number one country in the world, but i haven't seen anything that politicians have done to help my peers, anybody i came up around. i had to make raps to get out of the hood. they forgot us. barack is a different story. >> unlike most entertainers who may be afraid of alienating their audience by publicizing
their opinion, nas isn't afraid to get political. he encourages it. he's out with a brand new album that debuted number one called "life is good." and this legend is here with me tonight, rapper nas, legendary figure, welcome to the show. >> thank you for having me, mr. dyson. it's a pleasure to be here. >> thank you, my friend. let's get right into it. we heard you in an interview from 2008 before the november election saying that barack obama was different from other politicians. four years later, where do you stand on president barack obama. then he was a senator, now he's president. what do you think about him so far? >> i think he's still that guy who cares about this country and cares about the people in this country. um, i think he just stepped up into the biggest seat in the country and that means that your job turns into a multiple different things that the people don't really necessarily know about. or are misinformed about, and he has a big job.
and you know, i salute him for taking the job, but now he's got to handle it. >> yeah, no doubt. what do you think in terms of handling it, do you mean -- he's got a lot of hateration coming from the right wing and so on who have been on his case from day one, even disbelieving where he was an american or not and some people on the other side, african american people who said they he hasn't done enough for us. is he responded adequately to the interests of black people and handling his job all at the same time? >> i think it's interesting that he ran for the seat and that he has it now and i'm a spectator waiting to see. and so far, i'm still at the edge of my seat waiting. it's coming to that moment where there's another election coming up and i'm still waiting to see what happens and how he handles his handle. that's where i'm at. of course, we're still in a messed up place economically. it's not his fault. can't blame that on him.
so something needs to happen. >> no doubt. so let's turn to how you have gotten vaufrbed in the political conversation. during the occupy wall street protests, you released a youtube message in support of the protesters and visited the park. what is it about the message that caught your attention down there at occupy wall street? >> it's people taking charge. it's revolution. a revolutionary spirit in the people. it was time for a revolution. and the people were standing out there and protesting. and you know, demanding what, you know, that we try to fight in equality and economics, and that 1% out there are people who are out of touch with reality, and we're trying to make them wake up and realize that we have to take care of each other. >> sure. >> i love that. >> yeah. no doubt. why aren't more rappers, artists, entertainers, engaged in that kind of political process, because here at the height of the economic
inequality you have brilliantly cited, a lot of rappers are talking about the stuff they got, which we can understand, but they're not talking about the social conditions and plight and predicament of the people? >> they don't know, we don't know. i'm not an expert. we had to get ourselves up out of the slums. and we were not counted. so we're still adjusting to being first generation millionaires. and we got there by dreaming about it and speaking about the better life in our music. so once it happens for us, it's just, we're so far away from the political things and laws and things like that that make this country move, we never felt assessmented, so we don't feel like jumping in there now. the thing is we don't really realize the power we have. and that's very important for us to pay attention to now. we have to. >> you certainly realize it.
you had an ongoing feud with fox news, particularly bill o'reilly. a lot of us are cheering you on. in 2008, you headed a petition with color of change.org against fox news, you know, expressing your concern about what you and others felt were racist portrayals of the obamas. you weren't shy about touching on that in your song "sly fox." do you think it's the persistence of the same ideas or things have changed? >> there's some signs of maturity we're starting to see because i think they were embarrassed. they're starting to see martin luther king had to show america where they were wrong at and had to break down that arrogance that they had. and i think it takes time for people to start learning that they were arrogant and ignorant and there's not much that has changed. i think people disguise it better, but people are still confused. and i just didn't like what i was seeing out there. this was a great thing to see
barack obama come into office when he did come into office, and before he got there, just all of the hate, i couldn't take it. i mean, i'll do it again, the moment i see too much ignorance coming out of these people, these ignorant people, i'm stepping up again. i have a voice, and i'm going to be heard. >> all right. well, we're glad to hear you tonight. nas, please stay with us. coming up, we're talking about nas's latest chart topping album and i'll ask him about the state of hip-hop. stay tuned.
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he's released ate consecutive platinum and multiplatinum albums. since 1994, and sold over 13 million records in the united states alone. often rank is one of the greatest mcs of all time and one of the most influential rappers of all time. i would say life is good, and that's the name of his new album, which is his sixth number one album of the billboard 200 chart. who better to talk about the state of hip-hop than the legendary nas. welcome back, of course, and congratulations. i see the top 50 lyricists of all time, you were named in that number, of course, by source magazine. and you were named number two. and of the top five, only two of you, well, three of you are alive, raw kim, you, and jay-z. the other two are dead, biggy
and pac, and two of you are still making music, you and jay-z. how do you account for your longevity? 18 years ago, you were a child prodigy releasing ilmatic, and you're still at the top of urgame. how do you account for that? >> i say passion, passion, me being an insane fan of hip-hop music since i was a kid. and just really wanting to carry the torch and really move people since i was a kid, since i first dreamed of being in the music game. and i'm just humbled by it all, man. it's amazing, truly is amazing. >> it is amazing because you were considered the most above ground underground artist, so to speak. you have tremendous appeal across the board. you're on the top of the charts, yet you're still seen as a rapper's rapper, an mc's mc. how are you able to balance that out by talking about the things
you do on the one hand but interjecting the politics on the other hand? >> i think people can relate to a normal guy. yeah, there's some flash with the things i do. that's rap music is about bragging and talking about things that the average person doesn't have or live. and you know, but i think people see that regular guy in me. and they hear it in my music, and i think you know, i humanize myself all the time in the music, and i think that goes a long way. >> right. speaking of humanizing yourself, on this latest cd, this is probably one of your more introspective albums. you talk about your relationship to your former wife, kelis. you spill the ink about the devastation, the hurt, the pain, the agony, you two went through. tell us why you made the decision to discuss that so publicly. >> well, mike, you know me. i'm pretty much a private cat, but today's game is all about
the social media. and the social media is the devil. it puts all your business out there. and my divorce was very public. and so many people were talking about it, i felt like it was very necessary to address it myself. as i was recording the music, i tried to stay away from it for a little while and i couldn't. so i felt like it was just therapeutic for me to put it all out there. >> sure. and you talked about it not in a bitter sense, but in a sense of loss. lamenting what you all did have and could have had, and you took responsibility for not being the best husband. i mean, you're self critical on this album. >> definitely. i mean, i wasn't the greatest husband during the whole thing. and i'm someone, i'm a fan of love. you know, and i always saw myself getting married, you know what i mean? and that day finally came, one of the greatest days of my life, and it hurt me to see it go bad.
i don't like failure. and i failed. and you know, i put that all out there. i needed to. i needed to address it and i wanted her to hear it. of course, i didn't know shhow e would take it. she respects me artist to artist. she can respect that, and i just had to get it out there. >> all right. 20 seconds left. in 2006, you said hip-hop is dead. is it dead or has your resurrection through your music and others made it a living art form? >> it definitely -- the spirit of it is alive. i try to put the spirit into my music to give it that thing that i felt as a fan of it, and as a couple great artists out there who are doing the same thing, i think right now it's on a respirator. >> all right, then. we thank you for breathing life into it. nas, one of the legendary mcs of all time, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you, sir. >> that's "the ed show." i'm michael eric dyson. the "rachel maddow show" starts now. good evening to the n o